SAN FRANCISCO — The number of worldwide email users will reach 2.9 billion by the end of 2019, according to predictions from The Radicati Group. But has anyone really learned to use it effectively and efficiently in the workplace?

Two-year-old San Francisco startup Emmerge claims it has: It's marketing an inbox with collaboration features, which is designed to streamline team projects.

Project Management and Collaboration

The project management and collaboration platform in one allows users to assign action items in the body of emails and build on ongoing tasks and projects. Emmerge organizes information by hashtags and also offers a way for employees to track billable hours if they need to do that, too.

Emmerge CEO and founder Marc Blinder said his company isn't trying to replace email. Rather, it is trying to enhance it with a little "social DNA" and other features. “We know everyone in the business world is going check emails," he said. Emmerge offers a new way to look at it, he continued.

Blinder said the Emmerge solution is more collaborative than the way Google looks at email, with a "consumer-first lens … We do it on a team basis. The fundamental philosophical difference is that team aspect that gets better and better as more people use it.”

Already Connected to Box, Dropbox, Google Drive

Before Emmerge, Blinder worked as VP of European operations at Efficient Frontier, which was later acquired by Adobe. Blinder held social media and marketing roles at Adobe.

Blinder said he saw the same productivity and collaboration issues with many enterprise clients in his experience. Don’t forget take into account the employee roles, he said. For instance, marketing or customer service teams probably handle more work on email, compared to internally facing engineering teams, where most may prefer messaging tools like Slack or Yammer.

“Most people who are outwardly facing employees deals primarily via email if you are someone responsible for client communications,” Blinder said.

Emmerge is already connected with Box, Dropbox and Google Drive, and Blinder also wants to integrate it with Slack. Looking ahead, Blinder says Emmerge may dive into computer automation tools to increase productivity.